Coach Mike

Helping Kids with Autism

Coach Mike Frandsen

  • "We have a daughter with Autism who is very fond of Mike because she understands he is vested in her success. There are not many therapists with the level of dedication Mike brings each week. In the middle of Washington DC's record snowfall, with 5-foot drifts (remember Snowmageddon), Mike took the metro and climbed over the drifts to be here for her when no-one else was setting foot outside. We need more caregivers like Mike."

  • "I am the mother of a 38 year old young man with non-verbal autism. My son and our entire family have a strong friendship with Mike even though we have lived mostly out of the US for the last 5 years. Whenever we come back to the US catching up with Mike is one of our highlights. When we met Mike he had a promising career at NIH and was volunteering with KEEN (Kids Enjoy Exercise Now) a group that organized sports activities for young people with disabilities. Shortly thereafter Mike became a close friend with my son and spent a considerable amount of time with him outside of KEEN. Mike also decided that he really enjoyed helping people with disabilities especially those with autism much more than being a policy specialist. Deciding to make this his career he went back to school. He got himself a MS in Education from John Hopkins and a Graduate Certificate in Education of Students with Autism also from John Hopkins. That he did this with considerable sacrifice is a testimony to the commitment he made to people like my son."

  • "Mike is a terrific guy--thoughtful, smart, and kind. He has worked with my daughter for over a year on both academic and social skills, and he has helped her improve in both areas. She never tires of him, and each week she eagerly waits by the door for his arrival. We've been so pleased, we've happily referred him to friends! Mike's work is invaluable."

  • "Mike has been working for my son for 7 years. He is very kind and always very patient. His knowledge and experience is great. He has helped my son make significant improvements in math, reading, and verbal communication. He also introduced my son to team sports, coaching him in soccer for four seasons."

  • "Mike worked with both of my children and was a very dedicated and unbelievably reliable therapist. In the time he worked with us he never cancelled, even with all his health issues. Mike took the extra effort and time to stay educated about the latest trends in autism and was truly invested in both my childrens success. For that, I am greatful!"

  • "Mike was an outstanding volunteer in the KEEN program, volunteering weekly with young people with disabilities and making a hugely positive impact on our community. His concern for kids with disabilities was impressive."

  • "Mike Frandsen has worked with our son, who has special needs, for eleven years. Mike is an incredibly gifted teacher, with a natural talent for getting through to even the most difficult students. He is creative, and treats every child as an individual, working with how that child learns. He is patient, kind and understanding, and we have been so fortunate to have him work with our son. I have seen Mike work with many children and young adults with special needs, at Kids Enjoy Exercise Now (KEEN) and with children of many of our friends, both professionally and as a volunteer. He is a truly gifted teacher with a strong, professional work ethic."

  • "Mike has been facilitating weekly playdates for my son and his friend for the past two years. Thanks to Mike's playfulness and creativity, these two children with special needs play in their own pretend band, put on puppet shows and act out the books they read. Their friendship has been greatly enriched because of Mike."

  • "Mike Frandsen has developed a special relationship with our son, now 15, who has is in the "middle" of the autistic spectrum. Mike began working with him five years ago, to help him make better use of his leisure time. Our son likes people who are calm but focused, and Mike's approach was perfect with him. Their relationship has developed into something that is essential to teenage boys: mutual physical activity. Our son isn't good at team sports, but he loves swimming. Mike takes him swimming every Wednesday afternoon, after which they have a snack together and "hang out." This relationship is very important to our son on two levels: (1) enjoyable physical activity, and (2) bonding with an adult in a meaningful way. Mike is very sensitive to our son's unique needs, and he is incredibly dependable. This certainty in our son's life is essential."

  • "Mike has been working with my eight year old son for about a year now. My son has cerebral palsy, as well as speech and learning issues, and finds it hard to interact with peers and make friends. Mike facilitates play dates every Monday afternoon. My son looks forward with great anticipation to these sessions. With Mike, he and his friend put on plays (which brings together the fun of performance with work on reading skills), listen to music, play with puppets, take turns at board games, read, play catch, and engage in a wide variety of creative activities. Mike is patient, caring, focused, and a lot of fun. People have come up to me on the playground after witnessing Mike in action, in awe of his ability to bring out the best in my child. My husband and I have grown to depend on Monday afternoons with Mike, knowing that our son is productively engaged, learning new skills, learning to how to be a friend. This is an invaluable lesson, and it takes time and remarkable patience to teach. We are so grateful to Mike for all his hard work with our son."

  • "I am writing on behalf of Michael Frandsen. Mr. Frandsen served as a substitute assistant teacher and job coach at Ivymount School from 2006 to 2008. By way of background, lvymount School serves students, ages 4 - 21, with multiple disabilities. Mr. Frandsen worked with students of all ages, many of whom have Autism Spectrum disorders. He showed his versatility by working in classrooms with students as young as five years old as well as students up to age 21. Working successfully with this population of students requires a keen understanding of the disabilities and knowledge about what accommodations and teaching methodologies contribute to their learning. Mr. Frandsen worked at Ivymount consistently over a year and a half, and subbed in 16 different classrooms in the lower, middle, upper, and post-high schools. Mr. Frandsen demonstrated a keen understanding of the students' challenges, was very effective in providing the necessary supports, and displayed a strong commitment to the job. These skills, coupled with the ability to engage and appropriately challenge the students to meet their goals, made him very effective."